HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s early, but in politics, it’s good to get a jump start. State Rep. John Merrill is throwing his hat in the race for Secretary of State in 2014.
Merrill is making different stops across the state this week to announce his candidacy. He visited Huntsville on Tuesday and spoke to a group of supporters at the Madison County Courthouse.
Merrill, a Republican, currently represents District 62 (Tuscaloosa County) in the State House of Representatives.
Beth Chapman is the current Secretary of State. However, by law, she can only serve two consecutive terms.
Merrill said he considered running for Secretary of State after working with the office on an issue for a constituent last year.
“I knew that we had to have a strong person in that role so we can change the way some things are done,” Merrill said. “Beth Chapman has been a very effective member of the constitutional office corps there in Montgomery, and she’s one of the most popular elected officials in the State of Alabama.”
The Secretary of State’s office has four divisions: elections, executive, legislative and business. Merrill said the issue he was working on had to do with the business office, pertaining to an adoption case. He said one of his constituents was having trouble resolving an issue.
“After my interaction with them, I realized that in working with the people who are in that office, and making sure that they understood what the needs were, we were able to take care of that particular situation for this couple that is going to adopt a Chinese child in April of this year,” said Merrill.
Several local representatives joined Merrill for Tuesday’s announcement at the Madison County Courthouse, including State Rep. Phil Williams (R-District 6), State Rep. Mac McCutcheon (R-District 25), State Rep. Mike Ball (R-District 10), State. Rep. Howard Sanderford (R-District 20), Rep. Jim Patterson (R-District 21) and Rep. Wayne Johnson (R-District 22).
Merrill grew up in Heflin, Alabama and is a graduate of Cleburne County High School and the University of Alabama, where he served as President of the Student Government Association in 1986-87.